This is a part-time function rendered by deputies assigned to various positions within the Sheriff's Office. Members serve in one of three capacities — Special Response Team (SRT), Hostage Negotiations or Sheriff's Scuba Team (SST). The SRT is a highly trained and well equipped unit whose responsibility is the handling of all entries resulting from drug search & seizure warrants, hostage/barricade incidents and high risk warrant service. The team trains monthly with members assigned as snipers training an additional day per month. The Hostage Negotiation Team consists of specially selected personnel who are trained in the art of hostage negotiation. The team is comprised of negotiators, as well as intelligence and technical support. The Sheriff's Scuba Team is staffed by deputies specifically trained in the search and recovery of persons and property from the various water areas of Harford County.
Scuba/Underwater Recovery Team
The Harford County Sheriff's Office Scuba/Underwater Recovery Team consists of members from Law Enforcement and Corrections within the Sheriff's Office trained as Rescue Divers and above along with specialized training in:
- Establishing an Underwater Crime Scene
- Interview Techniques
- Underwater Photography and Sketching
- Advanced Underwater Communications
- Medical Aspects
- Search Patterns
- Location and Marking Evidence
- Evidence Recovery and Preservation
- Metal Preservation
- Non-Metal Evidence Preservation
- Body Movement in Water
- Body Recovery in Water
- Chemical and Polluted Water Diving
- Light and Heavy Salvage
- Vehicle Recovery
- Case Preparation
The Scuba Team is lead by a Lieutenant, who is a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer. One team member is a Dive Master, and the remaining 4 divers are certified Rescue Divers. In addition the team has 3 Boat Handlers responsible for operating the 2 Dive Team boats along with providing surface support for the divers in the water.
The Sheriff's Scuba Team (SST) trains once a month in local waterways, the Chesapeake Bay, Susquehanna River and local ponds and quarries. Over the last 3 years the Sheriff's Scuba Team has responded to York, PA, Baltimore County, Cecil County, Kent County and Frederick County to assist in body and evidence recovery operations.
The SST is equipped with a 21' Boston Whaler boat outfitted to act as a dive support platform along with general water patrol duties. The team also has an inflatable Zodiac used for shallow water operations along with diving support. Specialized diving equipment used by the team includes dry suits, underwater communications gear, underwater metal detector, underwater cameras, and emergency oxygen gear.